As a super lefty liberal gay artist with a beard, I was so overjoyed when Biden and Harris won, that my husband, family, and I were over the moon with happiness and great spirit—something I wanted to capture in this painting. I have had a habit of painting the image of the front page of the New York Times every time we have voted in a new president, starting with George W. Bush, and I was so excited and relieved that this time it was for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who I really believe in (and who saved America and democracy from perhaps becoming a fascist authoritarian government).
This is the image and the cropping for the front page of the printed New York Times from November 8th, when they were finally able to announce that Biden won the vote the day before on 11/7/20. The image is from when both he and Kamala were giving their victory speeches in Delaware after winning the 2020 US election that night. Kamala had just finished her speech, and Joe came jogging out and they fist-bumped, looking into one another’s eyes for a split second of deeply meaningful interaction. Behind them were screens that had an interesting multi-media light show—of animated flag-like lines and forms moving back and forth, that were also so inspiring to paint. I love Rothko, and his early “cloud paintings”, and these forms, despite being a normally melancholic blue tone, gave gravitas to the feeling that although victory was theirs, its amidst the pandemic, economic and political woes, and a lot of mixed feelings towards the election at large and for our country.
They were an inspiring couple to paint—it almost felt like a dance but updated so much from a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musical, with obviously much more of an impact towards our culture, politics, and nation. To know how hard they have fought, for how long, and to finally reach this point where they are able to devote all of themselves and their developing team to bring back America—as Joe Biden pledges—to be leaders for “everybody”–is so moving. I listened to their “playlists” on Spotify—I don’t know how much these were sanctioned by them or how much they truly listen to this music, but Kamala has fantastic, and eclectic musical taste, and Biden, for his part, also has some fresh edge to his music, along with some heartening standards that make so much sense for his age and stature. This further helped me to bring spirit to this work, along with listening to the news as I painted—looking fondly hopeful into the future!
It can be understated how much of a revolutionary impact their leadership will bring to the country—to have it on solid footing once again with the age and experience of Biden, but also with the positive, progressive hope with Harris—the First Woman and Woman of Color as our Vice President! It was true pleasure to paint this picture at this moment while there is still “debate” about the legitimacy of the election, of course they won, and they have a huge job on their hands—but I know our future looks bright, thank goodness they won the election!